Sheba (Beacon, 1959)

Young looker Sheba Irons comes from a destitute white trash family from the slums — a father who is a drunk and spends bill money on booze, a brother who does the same and can’t hold a job and chases girls, and a mother who is miserable, with leg vein problems, but stays in the marruage because she’s trapped and has no alternative.

Sheba does not want to be trapped in this family anymore, after her father blows the money she gave him to pay a finance company on an old $500 loan.  The payments are four months behind and the fat man who runs Old Fashion Finance is pressuring her.

She works as an office girl at a car dealership.  The finance company guys wants her to steer their customers to him for down payment loans, instead of going to the bank. She will get $50 for every new account she refers, and can apply that to the loan.  Seems good, but it’s the 1950s and woman are not car salesmen.  Still, when the salesmen are out to lumch, she refers a couple to the finance company and makes the sale, getting a $50 credit and a $180 commission on the car. That’s better money than the $50/week she was earning before.

The owner figures, why not use a woman to sell cars?  It could work with Sheba’s looks and rack and legs.

Sheba has left her family and rented a room, leaving them without her income.  She gives some money to her mom, feeling sorry for the sad woman, but refuses to give any to her dad or brother — she feels they are weak excuses for men, not working and leeching off her.  When things get tight, and they need booze, they come crawling to her, begging, like the pathetic excuses of the male sex they are.

Orrie Htt tends to have a number of male characters who refuse to work and sponge off a working girl, and these girls give in until they get fed up being suckers.

Sheba excels as a car seller.  She’s a lot like Della in She Got What She Wanted (not reviewed yet), trying her hand in the men’s business world out of desperate necessity — to pull themselves out of poverty and nothingness, faced with a future that includes submissive wifehood, children, cheating husbands.

She’s a virgin at the start, keeping it for marriage, despite the urges she gets no and then.  Going out with a fellow car sales guy to celebrate her first sale, she gets drunk and careless and loses her cherry to this guy. Needless to say, she feels horribnle the low the next day.

And that next day, she winds up in a car with the fellow she’s been casually dating, whom she has been keeping at arm’s lnegth…he heard she went with a guy and got drunk and he loses it.  He parks the car and rapes her.

Two men in two days…she feels hate for all men.

And all men seem to want only sex from her — the sales guy, customers, her boss…she hates that the world revolves, for men, on sex, and to sell cars, men expect her to put out the way magazine subscription girls do.

But as she continues to sell cars and make good money — up to $1,000 a week now — living in a nice furnished apartment, she starts to cut corners and secure somewhat unethical deals with the shady finance company, until she backs herself into a corner where the men she’s said “no” to attempt to blackmail herand cut down her success.

There’s also some lesbiana tossed in for good measure — a redhead at Sehba’s romming house, a hard drinking party girl who also hooks on the side, has a yen for Sheba.  After getting Sheba drink and in bed, Sheba is sexually confused, so goes to slummy bars to find men and determine if she’s straight or gay.

This is a pretty good one, a 9 on the Hitt Scale, minus one for the somewhat predictability here and there. A recommended read anyway.

3 Responses to “Sheba (Beacon, 1959)”

  1. […] company looking for payment for a loan Eddie’s father is late on — similar to the opening of Sheba. Right off we know this family has some problems, like Hitt’s white trash families […]

  2. […] of ol’ Orrie’s 1957 Beacons are pretty damn good, in some cases his best (The Promoter, Sheba, Pushover, The Sucker, etc) but this not the case with Trailer Tramp.  Such a great cover! […]

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